Education budget bill passes Minnesota Senate with broad, bipartisan support

On a broad, bipartisan vote, the Minnesota Senate passed the E-12 education budget bill chief-authored by Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester). This bill  increases the per-student funding formula by $388.8M, which is a 2% increase in 2020 and an additional 2% in 2021. The historic funding bill includes $90 million to help cover the rising costs of special education, a top priority for Minnesota’s public schools. Schools will also receive school safety funding, a top priority championed by Senator Nelson.

In addition to an over 6% increase in funding, the E-12 Education Finance Bill provides $30 million in safe schools revenue that may be used for hard security upgrades and professionals that can help keep our students safe – like school counselors, psychologists, nurses, and school resource officers.

The $90 million in additional funding for special education will help alleviate the amount of money school districts shift from their general fund budgets to cover the growing costs of special education. The final budget bill also provides temporary funding for 4,000 spots in the state’s voluntary pre-K program.

“This bill focuses on students, providing new resources for schools through the per student formula – the best way to deliver funding with local control to our schools,” said Senator Carla Nelson, Chair of the Senate E-12 Education Committee. “Our schools need security upgrades and we also prioritized funding for safe and secure schools.”

E-12 education funding represents over 40% of the bipartisan state budget agreement reached by the Senate, House of Representatives, and Governor Walz. Senator Nelson’s education legislation also passed the House and now heads to the governor for his signature.